Kenya: Senate Case Contesting Passage of 20 Bills By National Assembly Referred to CJ

Nairobi — The High Court has referred the case in which Senators are contesting over 20 Bills passed by the National Assembly without their input to Chief Justice David Maraga who will constitute a three-judge bench to hear the application.

According to Justice Weldon Korir, the suit raised substantive constitutional issues that needed to be reviewed by a bench.

Justice Korir also certified the case filed on Thursday as urgent after Senate Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki said the Senate cannot transact business before the dispute is resolved.

"The Senate is an important institution with that should be involved in the budget making role in the country," the Senate argued in suit papers.

Among the Bills passed without the Senate's involvement include the Division of Revenue Bill, according to suit papers.

A host of senators on Thursday morning walked to the Milimani Law Courts where they filed the lawsuit.

Senate leaders Kipchumba Murkomen (Majority Leader), James Orengo (Minority Leader) and Legal Affairs and Human Rights Chairperson Samson Cherargey led their colleagues to file their petition.

Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka had earlier signed affidavits in support of the petition by the Senate.

The senators are also seeking an interpretation of the term 'Money Bill', which has often divided the two Houses of Parliament.

The Senate has repeatedly insisted that it has to give its input on the Bill with lawmakers in the National Assembly instating there are solely responsible for the passage of the Bill.

The Bills in contention include The Public Trustee (Amendment) Act, Building Surveyors Act, 2018, Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act and The Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act 2018, The Equalisation Fund Appropriation Act, 2018, The Sacco Societies (Amendments) 2018, National Youth Service Act, The Sports (Amendment) Act and The National Cohesion (Amendment) Act.

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